Saint Lucia knocks off T&T
18.11.02 - Trinidad & Tobago suffered a surprising 1:0 loss to Saint Lucia, but both teams still advanced to the final round of Caribbean Zone qualifying for the FC Gold Cup after the final match in Group A.
Jonathan McVane's goal in the 54th minute was the only marker of the contest, leaving the three teams in the group (along with St. Kitts & Nevis) level with three points. But T&T and Saint Lucia advanced on better goal difference. St. Kitts & Nevis had opened the group, played in Trinidad, with a 2:1 victory against Saint Lucia, then bowed 2:0 to the hosts.
Both sides failed to trouble the opposing defenses much in an even first half, the best opportunity from Gary Glasgow in the 38th minute with a precise header from a Rick Titus cross that Saint Lucia goalkeeper Kester Erysthee pushed over the bar.
But any timidity in attack for Saint Lucia was changed at the half when coach Kingsley Armstrong brought on a pair of fast attackers in Trinidad & Tobago-based McVane and Titus Elva, both of whom play for W Connection FC.
Within six minutes of the resumption, the deadly pair of Elva and skipper Earl Jean got into the act. Jack was called upon to make a point-blank save from Jean, after Elva supplied him with a neat pass inside the box.
Three minutes later, McVane capitalised on a blunder by Thomas to score what would be the only goal of the match. After Thomas failed to made a proper clearance, an unmarked McVane picked up the ball near the penalty spot. He then dribbled ‘keeper Jack and was left with the easy task of walking over the goal-line.
The home side pressured for a late equalizer in the last five minutes, Kerry Noray first sweeping a left-footed effort over the bar from inside the area after getting a good look at the goal, then Keyeno Thomas had his goal-bound header beautifully flicked wide by goalkeeper Kester Erysthee.(The Football Confederation)